As promised, today I will continue blogging on how to Setup a Windows RESET Image to Restore your System to a previously working state.

This post builds on my previous ones (reported here for convenience):

1. Best Windows UEFI/GPT partitioning scheme

2. HOW-TO Setup a Windows REFRESH Image.

Please note – the RESET procedure will WIPE all your User Profile Data (including your Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Etc.).

Basically you will lose everything and your computer will return to a previous (virgin, empty, nil) state.

To put it in military speech -

  • REFRESH is like tactical bombing (with some collateral damage).
  • RESET is like nuking(!).

The main advantage of RESET is that you won’t have to rely on a lost or missing Windows DVD or USB KEY to Restore your computer to a working state.

Use RESET only as a last resort and try other options first – That is especially true since it is your data I am talking about.

 

How-to Setup a RESET Image.

That said, I’ll show you how to setup a RESET Image for your computer first.

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  • The process starts by taking a copy of the original install.wim Image From your Windows Install Media (ie. DVD, USB KEY) To a folder within your Recovery partition.

In this example I’ll assume that:

  1. Your Recovery Partition is D:\
  2. Your Recovery Folder is D:\Recovery
  3. Your original “install.wim” Image from your Windows Media is usually located into the “sources”-folder.

Once your RESET Image is in place, open an Admin CMD Prompt and type the following commands:

reagentc /setosimage /path D:\Recovery\install.wim /index 1
cacls D:\Recovery /E /R Users
icacls D:\Recovery /inheritance:d

With the “reagentc”-command, you will specify the path to your RESET Image. The “/index 1”-option selects the first Windows Image within your “install.wim"-Image (Windows 8.1 Pro in my example).

You can find the correct image index with “dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:D:\Recovery\install.wim".

Also, to prevent damage to your RESET image, use the cacls and icacls commands to remove normal Users’ permissions and to disable inheritance.

 

Now you see me, now you’re dead!

I highly suggest you to test your RESET image.

Proceed as follows:

  1. Install a new application (say 7-zip).
  2. START –> POWER-Button –> RESTART while keeping the SHIFT-KEY pressed.
  3. Boot to WinRE.
  4. Select “Troubleshoot your Computer”.
  5. Select “RESET” to Reset your PC.

After your computer has been reset, your computer will enter the OOBE process.

You will also notice that 7-Zip is missing from the list of installed Programs and all your User Data is gone!

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1-Star Movie Reviews: Dr. Strangelove

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BONUS – Hide the Recovery Partition.

If you’ve made it that far, I guess then it’s time to hide your Recovery partition from malicious eyes.

That is to prevent you (or s/else) to accidentally write data (& fill-up) your Recovery Partition.

In this case, a few DISKPART commands will do the trick, so open a CMD as Admin and type:

DISKPART
select disk 0
list volume
select volume 1 <- select your “Recovery”-Volume.
remove <- remove the letter assignment (ie. D-Letter).
list partition
select partition 4 <- select your “Recovery”-Partition
set id=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac override <- Hide the partition.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS!

Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home.

Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family.

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HOW-TO Setup a Windows RESET Image.
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